UK government abandons Ukrainian refugees, leaves hundreds homeless
Refugees organizations express concern that Ukrainian families are being left homeless amid the UK government's failure to ensure housing.
Official figures revealed that hundreds of Ukrainian families are homeless in England despite government promises to secure housing for them, The Guardian reported.
The website highlighted that "at least 480 Ukrainian families and 180 single adults have applied to councils for help with homelessness" since the end of February.
Although the UK government insisted that the Homes for Ukraine and family visa schemes would ensure housing for refugees, the two are abandoning people after housing arrangements break down.
The figure shows that 145 placements made by the Home for Ukraine scheme ended in homelessness by June 3.
“Across the country, there is no consistent approach to rematching guests with new hosts, no standard way for Ukrainians to change their visa sponsors, and no single mechanism for moving funding from one host to another," considered Lauren Scott, executive director of Refugees at Home.
“It is a nightmare situation – the very one that we had hoped to avoid,” she expressed.
The Guardian pointed out that "many local authorities are treating Ukrainian families as homeless rather than attempting to rematch them with new hosts, leaving them in hostels and hotels, just as happened with Afghan refugees."
Out of the 145 ended Homes for Ukraine placements, only 20 were rematched with a new host.
On his part, the chief executive of the Refugee Council, Enver Solomon, considered that “it is worrying to see that desperate Ukrainian families who have fled war, endured trauma and heartbreak, arriving here, entrusting their safety in our hands, to have been left to fall into homelessness."
“We’re concerned that Ukrainians arriving on family visas are running into problems as not all relatives will have the space or the resources to support their family members – which is why there needs to be the same level of funding available to them and local councils as is provided under the Homes for Ukraine scheme," Solomon expressed.
Lisa Nandy MP, shadow leveling up and housing secretary, said the UK government "has failed miserably to play its part. Ministers were warned about the risk of refugees becoming homeless on the day they launched the sponsorship scheme, but they were more interested in grandstanding in television studios than doing their jobs to protect vulnerable people."
A UK government spokesperson noted that more than 77,200 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK since the beginning of the war.